I’m often surprised by what I discover on a roll of “found film” – but this roll was especially unusual: these photos included a fortune on each one!
All mundane photos, shots taken of almost random places on the streets of Portland, Maine. I was able to track down the location based on the unusual storefront belonging to the business pictured below, “Apartment Mart.” Yes, I was indeed heading in the right direction.
Sometimes the juxtaposition of photo and fortune can be funny, almost as if the photographer snapped the photo to match the fortune – but it’s completely random. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on in these pictures, but eventually I managed to find a few clues using my good friends at Google.
It seems that these come from a so-called “Fortune Camera” that was sold by Urban Outfitters as recently as 2011. For $12, you’d get a single-use camera with a 24-exposure roll of film inside. They looked like this (I couldn’t get any rights-free photos so you’ll have to click on the link). By the time the undeveloped roll made its way to me, it had been separated from the camera, so I had no idea about its origins until I saw the fortunes printed on all of the photos as you see them here.
I find it strange that, as late as 2011, a company decided to come out with a one-time-use film camera, of all things. No idea how many of these cameras sold – if you check out online photos sites like Flickr or Tumblr, you can see a bunch of these, and you notice quickly that the number of fortunes they came up with is rather limited, so it would have gotten repetitive. On the roll I found, only 22 of the 24 pictures seem to have been taken. If you’re interested, you can see the rest of the roll at this link.